Show the auditor the money

It must not be easy to get tossed from office after two terms by a whopping 66 percent of voters.

At today’s meeting of the Oakland City Council’s Rules Committee, lame duck City Auditor Roland Smith recommended that the council pay City Auditor-elect Courtney Ruby between $85,054 and $109,355 — roughly half of the $170,591 that Smith takes home.

In 2004, the City Charter was changed to require the office’s salary be set based on what six comparable cities pay their auditor every time the office changes hands. Back then, Smith complained to anyone who would listen that the provision would reduce his paycheck, and said he was being retaliated against by the council members for his independent streak.

The city’s legislative analyst did another survey and recommended that Ruby’s salary be set between $118,137 and $151,891, a much less steep cut. Smith told the committee, which put off a decision until Dec. 21, that he followed the letter of the charter.